on Sunday, 24 February 2008
Phon Noir - the figurines are moving (Sub Rosa)

A delightful album of layered electronics, found sounds and gentle guitars coming over like a mixture of Bright Eyes and The Postal Service given a laconic remix by Four Tet, all woven and sewn up into a little package of early morning sunrise.

Best taken as a piece of music rather than any individual tracks that jump out, here Matthias Grubel satisfies those like myself who were disappointed by Khonnor's much talked about Handwriting.


Phon Noir - We Still Miss The Future

The Young Republic - 12 Tales From Winter City (End of the Road)
Another great pop album, this time from the talented Boston octet The Young Republic mixing Belle and Sebastian, Hefner, The Tyde and even early Embrace without sounding identical to any of them. Great well written and perfectly executed pop songs, mixing both folk and country along the way, stylish and instantly memorable.

The Young Republic - Excuses to See You mp3
The Young Republic - Girl From The Northern States mp3

The Daily Growl
Song By Toad

on Friday, 22 February 2008
Final Light - To Stop an Exploding Man (Lost Children Net Label)
Whilst last years French Teen Idol courtesy of the Lost Children Net Label melted my mind time and again last year and indeed to this day, Departure finds its way onto most compilations i make, so they start the new year well with an excellent release from Final Light that is set to take the place of French Teen Idol, at least for a while.
Full to the brim with skipping beats and deep mumbled samples, set against simple pianos and ambient swells of orchestration, comparisons could be made to a sunday morning world weary Meanwhile Back in Communist Russia or in places World's End Girlfriend. Though with all due respect this is somewhat less visionary in scope yet very much worthy of your attention.

Final Light - To Stop an Exploding Man (Full album ZIP)
French Teen Idol - Departure MP3

on Sunday, 3 February 2008
I know i've posted this before ut this weekend i've fallen in love with Fortdax again and have been digging deeper into the wonderful and unbelievably free three volume archival (there's a link below) simply astounded at the beauty on offer and the quality of the songs that are sadly prefaced by the words (unreleased), its hard to imagine that someone wouldn't jump at the opportunity of proudly stamping their label details on the back of such a release. Along with this are also two excellent albums, Folly and Divers, Folly being the more essential. I only wish i'd had the pleasure of experiencing this live...long may the fortdax memory live on...

"FortDax : archival 2001- 2006 what do i hear? i hear these pieces being made. the circumstances of their making. from the inside there is little emotional resonance. not now. you become acutely aware of the mechanisms involved, the faults and failings, the things you wished you’d known & implemented then. much of that which you’re about to hear has lain dormant or even unearthed for, i feel, good reason, but the impetus behind these archival bundles is partly to draw a line under the past, to somehow corral this work away from *what will come next*. there are incomplete mixes, boxy ‘midi-fied’ demos, plenty of repetition, the grating addition of a particular string patch from my roland groovebox (bless her), more ‘tinkly things’ than you could wave a wand at and all manner of jumps in relative volume (i wasn’t aware of even the idea of compression until i took ‘folly’ in to be mastered in 2003). and these notions help explain why you’re hearing this for free. there’s also the simple fact that you may have paid for the previously released elements of the archive already – i haven’t attempted to remaster anything or even touch it up and therefore you shouldn’t be expected to part with your cash twice over. it’s a slightly embarassing process, especially as it all takes place in public...but no-one is forcing my hand here, and similarly you’re under no obligation to listen. you aim to come to terms with your past, with who you were and what you did back then, and you allow yourself to move along. in theory...my own opinion is that the best of what FortDax was can be found in ‘divers’ and ‘folly’. you’re already a fan, and you believe this too, right?what’s still missing? glaringly, my remix of nathan fake’s ‘you are here’, simply as i’m told it’s still selling nicely for border community. i’ll try and keep a (slightly edited) mp3 file of it up on MicePace (www.myspace.com/fortdax) for as long as possible. and if you’re a real stickler for completism, you’ll note that 2006’s radio 3 session is also absent. this comprised five tracks, all of which were near-identical to those in the live set (trust me, i used the same backing templates). i don’t own the rights to those recordings, i’m afraid. everything i’ve built since spring 2006 will serve the *next* work, and has been deliberately excluded - it really isn’t ‘FortDax’ anymore.update! november 8th 2007:archival add-on : the nathan fake remix FREEthanks to james' kind permission, you can now complete the FortDax archival collection with my 2006 remix of nathan fake's 'you are here'...http://www.sendspace.com/file/lp0mlgthis may be a useful point at which to express my gratitude to the 450+ people who have downloaded the 3 archival bundles so far. truth be told, i hadn't expected half as much interest in the older work, so i'm really glad that it's being enjoyed by you all.everything in these three compilations is copyright FortDax 2001-2006 (other than the remixes, which belong to their respective owners).all files were originally available, free of charge, from www.fedge.net/fortdax in the summer of 2007.who made this possible? everyone who was involved with FortDax along the way, but especially geoff dolman, dominic martin, glen johnson, cotton casino, ian fletcher, darren crawford, james holden, nathan fake, sam dunn, andru duff, my as-yet-unknown bride-to-be and especially my long-suffering, ever-willing parents.i’m indebted to jeff keibel for being more than just a webmeister over the years. he’s as responsible for providing these files to you without cost as i am.and anyone who bought a record. or said a kind word. and all the FortBuilders from the mailing list. bless all of your ears and take very good care.this archival project will be the last dedication to meg, with all my love.where next? oh, you’ll see, you’ll see...(darren durham, june 2007) "